At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on Monday, two issues were raised by delegations that affected transport for disabled people. One was about a person who needed to go to the Hospital from the Golden Plough Lodge (GPL). Since it was an emergency, an ambulance provided Transportation but when the patient was discharged, it was no longer an emergency so an ambulance was not available. However, since the 93 year old was on a stretcher, there was no way to get home to the GPL who said they are not mandated to provide this kind of transport. Eventually, after a long wait and a $160.18 charge to a credit card, Voyageur Medical Transportation did the job. The other issue was how to help wheelchair users on and off Wheels buses since drivers have been told not to assist after one driver was injured doing that.
The full details of the case of the 93 year old GPL resident makes interesting reading (see the Link below). There is a group called the Family Council of Golden Plough Lodge who “advocate for the residents of the Golden Plough Lodge” and three members headed by their Chair Gwen Barnes presented their concerns to Council. They didn’t have an answer and neither did Council but Mayor John Henderson said that the County (who are responsible for the GPL and social welfare issues) were not aware of the issues and as Cobourg’s representative on the County Council, John said he would make sure the issue was addressed.
The other issue is really two concerns: the need to provided door to door service and not just curb to curb plus the need to find a way to help wheelchair users climb the ramp into the bus. During budget sessions it was decided that the ramp issue could be resolved with a retrofit to existing buses, that is to add an “Inline Assist Winch” plus a “Grab and Stability Bar”. But Councillor Emily Chorley moved that in addition, a Town Policy be prepared to specify what help would be provided – much like other Municipalities provide. Her motion was carried. Council hopes that retrofitting the buses and specifying that service should be door to door should resolve both issues.
- Letter from Gwen Barnes re transport from NHH to GPL – and return
- Info on Cobourg’s Transit Service – including Wheels